'JSC must be reconstituted during the last stages of judicial reform'

Parliamentary Group Leader of main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Ali Azim has stated that the composition of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) must be reconstituted, and it is a necessary step for the last stage of judicial reform.

In an interview given to Sangu TV, the Henveiru Central MP said while judicial reform is being attempted, it can only go forward one step at a time. He noted that the first steps of reform have already been completed through the dismissal of judges who delivered verdicts against the constitution and laws of the country,

"We believe that within a year, we have been able to carry out a lot of work towards judicial reform that have been accepted by the citizens of the country. We have carried out many efforts. We can tackle this one step at a time, and while we have commenced the efforts, we are pursuing reform according to certain standards and policies," said Azim.

Speaking on recomposing the judicial watchdog, Azim agreed on the necessity and said he has always advocated to reform JSC. However, the change must be brought to the constitution in the final stages of judicial reform, said Azim, stating that the current members of the commission are those working towards judicial reform and supports the ideology.

Azim was referring to Speaker Mohamd Nasheed, MP Hisaan Hussain, Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath, and president's representative Masthooru Husnee who currently sit on the commission.

"There are several reasons why the reconstitution of JSC must be held off until the last stages. If these members do not sit on JSC, there is no way judicial reform can be brought about to the courts. People who advocate for and support reform need to sit on the commission. Even before, members were appointed to this commission, however, they were unable to bring about any reform," said Azim.

Azim pointed out that while main-ruling MDP holds super-majority in the parliament, they have been granted a five year term. Therefore, efforts towards reform will be undertaken and organized within that timeline, said Azim, assuring that even JSC will be reconstituted during the period.

Many legal experts have noted the possibility that the Judicial Service Commission may be influenced due to its composition, as political figures and judges sit on the commission, and agree the composition must be changed.

While several senior officials of the current government are in agreement, efforts have not commenced thus far to reform JSC. The delay in action has garnered the criticism of the public against the government and MDP members sitting on JSC.